Having been an amateur philatelist for more than 40 years, I
am quite familiar with the very valuable "Inverted Jenny" misprint stamp that occurred during the initial
printing of America's first Air Mail stamp in 1918. Supposedly only one sheet of 100 stamps got past
the inspectors before the error was caught; inversions were common in the day for multi-colored stamps.
The blue Curtiss JN-4 Jenny biplane, one
of the most commonly used airmail planes, was printed upside down as the result of the first red printing
sheet being fed backwards into the printing machine. To date the highest price paid for a single mint-condition,
never-hinged example is $825k. Since I rarely go into a post office, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised
to see a poster announcing that a replica of the stamp had been issued; it appealed greatly to both
the stamp collector and the airplane modeler in me. Issues like this are almost pure profit for Post
Office since they know enthusiasts like me will go buy at least one sheet ($2 each x 6 per sheet = $12).
Con men would call me an easy mark for such schemes.
Dig this: The USPO purposely (so they claim)
printed 100 sheets with "rightside-up" Jennys in order to feed a collector
From the U.S. Post Office website:
"These self-adhesive stamps are being issued in sheets of 6.
This souvenir sheet features a new
version of perhaps the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps: the Inverted Jenny, a 1918 misprint
that highlights the ways a single stamp can turn history upside down.
The sheet includes six Inverted Jenny stamps, reprinted with
an updated denomination and surrounded by an illustration that includes the National Postal Museum in
Washington, D.C.; the route of the first regularly scheduled airmail service between Washington, Philadelphia,
and New York; and aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet, who was in charge of the first group of airmail
pilots. The intaglio printing plates for the new stamps were created using proofs made in 2013 from
the original Inverted Jenny dies.
Issued to commemorate the start of the first regular airmail
service in the United States, the original Jenny stamp was designed to show a Curtiss JN-4H, or "Jenny,"
the biplane used to deliver the mail. However, on May 14, 1918, the day an official notice said the
stamp would debut, collector William T. Robey of Washington, D.C., purchased one sheet of 100 stamps
that mistakenly showed the biplane upside down-and one of the greatest philatelic treasures in U.S history
was released into the world.
The art director for this souvenir sheet was Antonio Alcalá. The
selvage artwork was created by Steven Noble.
The new Inverted Jenny stamp is being reprinted
with a $2 denomination to make it easily distinguishable from the 24-cent 1918 original.
in the USA
Issue Date: September 22, 2013
!!! NOTICE !!!
Service Announces Very Limited Edition Stamps Circulated with Recent Issue of Famous ‘Upside Down’ Jenny
Customers who purchased Inverted Jenny stamps could have
one of only 100 stamp sheets printed with plane flying ‘right side up,’
recipient comes forward October 02, 2013
Posted November 30, 2013